Do you remember riding in the back of a truck when you were a child? Many of us remember feeling the freedom with the wind flapping thru your hair. However, we never realized the peril we were in when riding in the cargo area. Without seat belts and other safety devices, riding in the truck bed can increase the risk of traumatic injuries and death in a traffic accident. For this reason, many states of enacted specific laws about riding in the rear of trucks or riding in cargo areas, including Louisiana.
What Does Louisiana Law Say About Riding in Rear of Pickup Trucks?
LA Rev Stat § 32:284 (2016) states that no one is permitted to ride on the truck’s tailgate when the truck is being operated on a state highway. Furthermore, children under the age of 12 years are prohibited from riding in the truck bed on a state highway with two exceptions:
- In an emergency when an adult is in the rear of the truck with the child; and,
- If the truck is in an authorized parade traveling fifteen miles per hour or slower.
The statute also states that all persons are prohibited from riding in the cargo area of a truck when that truck is being driven on an interstate highway unless it is an emergency.
Can I Recover Compensation for an Accident?
The statute does not prohibit you from filing a claim if you are injured while riding in the bed of a pickup truck. However, an insurance adjuster may try to argue that you assumed the risk by riding in the back of a truck and, therefore, you are partly responsible for your injuries. The adjuster may claim you are not entitled to full compensation for your damages under Louisiana’s comparative negligence law.
Our New Orleans truck accident attorneys understand how the comparative negligence laws are applied to accidents. We also understand how to defend against these claims to fight for full compensation for damages.
Because insurance adjusters can be very aggressive, we urge you to contact our office as soon as possible after a truck accident. Providing a written or recorded statement or signing a medical release before you consult with an attorney can hurt your chance of recovering the maximum amount of compensation allowable by law for your claim. Remember, the insurance adjuster for the other driver is NOT working for you. You want an experienced legal team working to protect your rights.
Call a New Orleans Truck Accident Attorney for More Information
If you are injured in a truck accident, you need to seek medical attention first. Your health is your first priority. However, you also need to protect your right to file a claim for damages against a negligent driver. Therefore, we encourage you to seek legal counsel as quickly as possible.
Call Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm for a free consultation. Because we accept cases on the basis of a contingency fee, you will not pay attorney fees until we recover money for your claim. Call our office at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request a free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney.